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BAE Systems aims to boost Riptide UUV capabilities

26 June 2019
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BAE Systems will apply its technologies to its newly acquired Riptide unmanned underwater vehicle family. Source: Riptide Autonomous Systems

BAE Systems aims to leverage its own sensing technologies to capitalise on the recent acquisition of Riptide Autonomous Solutions "to address the future needs of US and allied navies", Geoff Edelson, technical director at BAE Systems FAST Labs, told Jane's .

The acquisition, which was announced in early June, offers a range of technological opportunities to the defence prime, which plans to demonstrate the combination of Riptide's unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) technology with its own mission-level autonomy, undersea navigation, and communications technologies in the coming weeks.

Edelson explained that there is a natural synergy between Riptide's host platform UUV and BAE Systems' sensor, processing, communications, and autonomy payloads and software, both in terms of existing technologies and those under development.

"Riptide is a natural fit for coupling our payload capabilities to their platform to offer our customers longer duration, more affordable mission solutions," Edelson said.

He noted that the two companies will begin demonstrating their combined offerings in the third quarter of 2019, adding that BAE Systems' interest in Riptide stemmed from several factors.

"Their vehicles' endurance, power efficiency, and depth flexibility are of particular interest to us from a mission perspective," he said. "The ease of using their open-architecture approach to add mission capabilities makes the Riptide line of vehicles particularly attractive from a cost and schedule perspective."

Riptide had sold just over 100 platforms before the acquisition, Edelson noted, adding that the company had "rapidly developed new technical solutions across a range of vehicle sizes and depth ratings, and they had a significant number of development opportunities".

The deployment of BAE Systems' resources will also enable Riptide's products to advance farther and faster in the market.

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